U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker was announced as the moderator for a panel of senior level business leaders for the Smart Fabrics Summit on April 11, 2016. Secretary Pritzker will be joined by David Lauren, executive vice president of Ralph Lauren; Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel; and Mary Hennessy, president and CEO of IFAI.
The Summit, hosted by the Department of Commerce and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), will provide a forum for public and private sector leaders in technology, apparel, and textiles to highlight recent developments in the smart fabrics industry, identify opportunities for collaboration, and discuss key industry challenges.
“As America’s Innovation Agency, the Department of Commerce plays a unique role in facilitating greater collaboration between the public and private sectors on emerging technologies,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Working together, we can spur advancements and address challenges with respect to new industries such as smart fabrics. I am proud that the Department will serve as a partner in this event that showcases new smart fabrics technology, inspires partnership among industry leaders, and encourages the creation of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”
Recent advances in technology have brought together the apparel, technology, and textile industries to develop new capabilities in fabrics with the potential to change how athletes, patients, soldiers, first responders, and everyday consumers interact with their clothes and other textile products. The applications for this new technology are broad, with most smart fabric product development seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety. The world market for smart clothing is projected to grow from a base of $17.2 million in 2013 to approximately $600 million by 2020, according to research firm Tractica LLC.
The event includes presentations, industry demonstrations, panel discussions and networking opportunities.
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